Recommendations made during the 31st Meeting of the GST Council held on 22.12.2018

The GST Council held its 31st meeting on 22nd December, 2018 at New Delhi wherein it made numerous recommendations with respect to amendments in policies under the Law, amendments in GST Return filings, changes in rate structures, formations of government bodies etc. In this article, we take a look at all the recommendations of the GST Council:

  1. No Late fee for GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B

The most important announcement from the GST Council, is the waiver of late fees in respect of filing of GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B return up to the period 30th September, 2018. The GST Council announced that: “Late fee shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case FORM GSTR-1, FORM GSTR-3B & FORM GSTR-4 for the months / quarters July, 2017 to September, 2018, are furnished after 22.12.2018 but on or before 31.03.2019.”

  1. GST Annual Return Date to be extended

The CBIC vide a notification on 07th December, 2018, had earlier extended the due date for filing of Annual Return and Audit Report under the GST Act to 31st March, 2019 from 31st December, 2018. The GST Council, in its 31st meeting held, has further extended the due date for filing Form GSTR-9, Form GSTR-9A and Form GSTR-9C to 30th June, 2019.

  1. Single Cash Ledger for each head of Tax

There will be a single cash ledger for each head of TAX, i.e., IGST, CGST, SGST, Cess. Such change will be brought in after due consultation with the GSTN Authorities and other stakeholders. Our view is that, this move will sufficiently reduce the complexity of payment of taxes and other amounts for businesses.

  1. New format of GST Returns (Simplification of GST Returns)

The GST Council in its 27th meeting held on 04th May, 2018 had proposed to introduce the simpler GST returns. The roadmap for the simplification process was laid out in the meeting. The GST Council has now proposed to implement the simpler tax return on trial basis from 01.04.2019 and further would be made mandatory from 01.07.2019.

  1. Amendments in the GSTR Form formats and instructions and other clarificatory changes
  • Headings in the Form GSTR-9 and GSTR-9A would mention the supplies etc. made “during the year” and not “as declared in the returns filed during the year”.
  • HSN codes may be given only for those inward supplies whose value independently accounts for 10% or more of the total value of inward supplies.
  • Taxpayers cannot avail ITC through GSTR-9 or GSTR-9C.
  • All regular forms such as Form GSTR-1, GSTR-3B have to filed before the filing of Form GSTR-9 and Form GSTR-9C.
  • All returns in Form GSTR-4 have to be filed before filing of Form GSTR-9A. Hence, all the taxpayers filing the quarterly GSTR-4 need to ensure that the same have been filed upto March-2018 before filing of Form GSTR-9A.
  • Additional payments in respect of previous tax periods can be made only through Form GST DRC-03.
  • In Form GSTR-9, value of ‘non-GST supply’ under outward supplies shall also include the value of ‘no-supply’ and can be reported in the Table 5D, 5E and 5F.
  1. Extension of due date for filing Form GSTR-8

The GST return in Form GSTR-8 required to be filed by e-commerce operators for the period October to December 2018 to be extended to 31st January, 2019.

  1. Extension of due date for filing Form GST-ITC-04

The GST Council has recommended to extend the due date for filing the Form GST ITC-04 for the period July-17 to Dec-2018 to 31.03.2019.

  1. Availing of ITC for FY 2017-18

The GST Council has provided a breather to the businesses by recommending to avail the ITC in respect of invoices issued by suppliers during the period July-17 to March-18 till the due date of furnishing the Form GSTR-3B for the month of March-2019 , subject to certain conditions. Earlier, such credit was required to be availed before the due date of furnishing the Form GSTR-3B for the month of September-2018.

  1. Refund claim under Form GST-RFD-01

The GST council has recommended to allow the submission of all the supporting documents in respect of claiming refund in Form GST RFD-01 in electronic form on the common portal at the time of making the refund application, to avoid the necessity of visiting the GST Office for submissions by the taxpayers. This functionality will be made available on the GSTN Portal shortly.

  1. Refund applications shall also be made available for the following:
  • Refund on account of Assessment/ Provisional Assessment/ Appeal/ Any other order by the GST Department.
  • Tax paid on Intra-state supply which is subsequently held to be Inter-state supply and vice-versa.
  • Excess payment of Tax by cash, which cannot be adjusted subsequently.
  • Any other refund.
  1. Window for completing migration process

The GST Council has recommended to allow one more window for completion of Migration process for those taxpayers who were unable to do so during the last migration up to 31.01.2019. Further, the due date for submitting the Form GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 for such taxpayers for the period July-2017 to February 2019 would be extended to 31.03.2019.

  1. Formation of GOM

The GST Council has approved the recommendation to allow the formation of a 7 member Group of Ministers under the GST Act, to study the revenue trend, analysis of deviations in collection targets, etc. The GOM will be assisted by the experts from Central Government, State Government and National Institute of Public Finance and Planning (NIPFP). The GST Council will in due course announce the details of the GOM and who will be its members et al.

  1. The GST Council has given its primary approval in the 31st Meeting to form a Centralized Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) to deal with the conflicting decisions made by two or more state AAR’s on the same issues.

  2. The GST Council has approved the amendment on Section 50 of the CGST Act, 2017 to provide that the interest chargeable to the taxpayer should be only on the net amount payable by the taxpayer, after taking into account the admissible input tax credit, i.e. interest would be chargeable only on the amount as appearing payable through the Electronic Cash Ledger.

  3. Recommendations in the Rate changes by the GST Council in its 31st Meeting.

The GST Council in its 31st Meeting held on 22.12.2018 has taken the following decision regarding changes in GST rates of goods and services as given below:

Description of Goods/ Service Existing GST Rate Proposed GST Rate
Computer Monitors and TV’s upto 32” 28% 18%
Re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of Rubber 28% 18%
Power Banks of Lithium ION Batteries 28% 18%
Pulleys, Gear Boxes, transmission shafts etc. under HSN Code 8483 28% 18%
Digital Cameras and video camera recorders 28% 18%
Video games/ consoles/ other sports requisites falling under HSN Code 9504 28% 18%
Parts and accessories used in the carriages for disabled persons 28% 5%
Corks roughly squared or debugged/ articles of natural cork/ agglomerated cork 18% 12%
Marble rubble 18% 5%
Natural cork/ walking stick/ fly ash blocks 12% 5%
Music Books 12% NIL
Vegetable Canned, preserved 5% NIL
Solar power generating units/ other renewable energy plants 5% 70% of value -5%30% of the value- normal rate
Cinema Tickets up to Rs. 100 18% 12%
Cinema Tickets above Rs. 100 28% 18%
Third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles 18% 12%
Services by Banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit account holders of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana exempted

The changes recommended in GST rates as above shall be made effective by issuing the Gazette notifications/ circulars under the GST laws.